Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rising to the surface (anger) through receptive love

What started off as a heart-filled week of practice in receiving love has now brought to the surface the old, clogged, murky shit that I had kept so well-hidden, so deeply buried that I even fooled myself into thinking it was cleared.  The awakening of only some of that has been somewhat shocking, somewhat of a relief, but mostly manifesting itself as anger.  Deeply rooted anger at/for/with Self, which all sits partnered in the manifestation of fear.

Last month I was processing through fear, making it a point to invite it to the surface, not so I could secretly pounce and attack, but really understand where it's coming from, why I place so much emphasis on believing I "need" to keep it, and what it really wants.  What is the purpose of this fear?  In some ways it served a purpose, was there for a reason, but sometimes those reasons no longer hold true, but instead of sending it away with love, I kept it there, prisoner, then simply ignoring and/or forgetting about it.  All in the same, I simply chose to turn the other cheek and continue on with something that grew and grew.

This week I have been busy listening to the dharma talks from the Margha program, getting a chance to speak with my Mitra (friend/mentor) who I connected with instantly.  She's a great spirit and it's incredibly helpful to have someone to speak to who has gone through this process themselves.

I shared with her the early weeks of doing the practice, the abundance of love that I was feeling and connecting to, recognizing these various benefactors I hadn't really realized were there, and thinking of what Lama John had said, about how the greatest gift you can give isn't to give love, but to receive it.  It's why, after all, we focus on so many hours of this practice, because of the gift to receive, and the reality is, many of us are just not prone to receiving, not on the deeper level.

I thought my acceptance in receiving love was fine, it was there, that I had no real issues with it.  On the surface, no, I didn't.  The beginning aspects of my revisits to this practice from year's past, from this perspective in time, was met with gratitude of this love.  Then I found myself getting squirmy... started to look at my relationship with love, and when excuses are gone, you reflect fully within... FULLY within... it's not terrifying, it's just... real.  It's there.  The reality of the reveal itself can be terrifying, but the process of reflection in that moment was simply about the reality of being in the moment and doing it.  It wasn't about seeing Self as Goddess -- I've done that, this was about seeing Self as Self.  I think in some ways we need to come to terms with who we are before we can identify with who we are as divinity.

The other day I'm sitting there, in meditation, listening to the talks, bringing up benefactors, receiving love... and then there was this intense, instantaneous moment of self-awareness... I was angry.  The anger that came up wasn't dysfunctional anger, this may be hard to translate, but the best way I can describe it was sort of like a new-born, the freshness in this atmosphere but brought with confusion because of the new-ness compared to where it had previously existed. 

So, I meditated on that anger, communing with the Goddess, asking Her to gently reveal those aspects that have been hidden, and encouraging me to allow it to rise to the surface.  I could feel myself drift in meditation, instead of dealing with it simply letting it to do its own thing while I journeyed to another realm for escape (translated to self as: safety).  I heard the Goddess' encouragement to stay with it, that it wouldn't harm, so I stayed, and the revelation made me want to cry, scream, throw up... all in good ways, I promise, even if in the moment it felt anything but "good".  It felt disgusting.

I felt disgusting. 

To admit that to yourself... to immerse yourself into something that feels so disgusting, so gross, so vial to who you are or who you believe to be is a process I think that requires help, be it help from a facilitator who knows what they are doing, your guides, or the Divine Ones who cradle the space in sacredness. 

The past couple of days the anger has risen, in bits and pieces, mostly blindly now, not in intent of finding it, but in allowance for the reveal.  I must clarify that this isn't something that is being done in harm, it's anger rising in revelation, each piece like the proverbial puzzle, as I peel off its translucent layers I'm discovering where it has all come from... where it has ALL come from... it's the piece of the buried puzzle I have long since buried and convinced myself that I was at peace with it.  Then, I was, but not from the core. 

I feel sort of heavy in this process, but in many ways I know I have asked for this.  This isn't shadow work, no, I've done that before, healed so much through my work with my shadow self.  I'm not looking to define what the actual process is, but I am documenting it as I work through it... the avid journaler, nothing does undocumented, ha.

The reality is that instead of trying to "fight" planetary retrogrades, such as Mars currently still in retrograde, I'm utilizing this time to not only recognize what comes up during this time, but actually work on the identification as a fundamental process, then release and integration/transformation/transmutation (whatever the issue that arises requires), and it feels much more productive than simply pointing my finger and saying "well this is because Mars is in retrograde so when it goes direct everything will be fine".  It's a "return" to choice -- I think that's what much of the retrogrades bring up for us; what we will choose during this time.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Building foundation

Taking some time to catch up after the day-long Temple Leadership Retreat.  I never get tired of them, wishing I had more availability in my schedule to take time out to do more of them, each one is a new experience, new moment of self-discovery, and moments of connecting and reconnecting.  Today was a different retreat than those I normally tend to participate in, but it was a good different.

Gathering together with the other ministries and getting to hear first hand what the intention is, who the faces were behind each of these pillars was quite exciting.  The brainstorming, the collective conscious, the respect that was shared in that room today was empowering, and really gratifying to be a part of.  I was so impressed with everyone's thoughts and how far the Temple has come and the excitement of where it will be going. 

We had a lot of time to talk, to experience, and follow-up with ritual by the end of the retreat.  I hadn't yet decided, by the time the retreat began, as to what ministry I'd like to work in.  When the initial questionnaire came out I was choosing between three: Ministry of Sagittarius - The Teacher, for the obvious choice in that I am an instructor already and it's something I find I more easily gravitate towards and further workings on the philosophy of Witchcraft excited me; then there was the Ministry of Cancer - The Mother, which had other areas, aside from the fact that I am a Mother both in physical form but in this aspect of the Triple Goddess in my life right now, but also because of my passion towards womyn's mysteries, as well as my (somewhat surprising to myself) leaning towards children's education within the Craft.  It's a natural tendency to bring Nimue up in a tradition that I most resonate with and one that we practice as a family, and it made me look deeper into the religion as we could share it with children; not as dogmatic rule, but as a way of practice, something that can so easily flow for children with their beginner mind and openness without pre-program.  Then the final choice I was considering was Ministry of Scorpio - The Guardian.  In particular, working with people and families to help cross over veil and their transition between the worlds.  I owe my interest in part to both Jonathan and Amy for this -- mostly Amy, who wanted me to be there to help cross her over and the gift and lesson she presented me with when I was able to do that for her brought home the purpose of ministerial service and how as Priestesses we must remind ourselves that what flows from Her is also something that returns and flows back to Her.  It's easy to get caught in one aspect over the other.  I was also interested in the sacred sexuality aspect.

So, with that in mind, I came to the retreat open, knowing I would possibly dip my feet in other aspects of the ministry as a whole, but really wanting to have a foundational focus for my work and purpose there within the Temple.  I felt confident that by the day's end that I would have a clearer vision of where I wanted to lend myself to, and in part I do have more clarity.

The end of the workshop aspect brought us to the evening ritual where we journeyed to learn more and gather more information on our role in the Temple.  Here I received a really interesting message, letters and a number, just a single number, it could have read like a license plate.  There were other aspects within the journey that became clearer and clearer, but I had no idea what these letters represented, and I had this moment where in my journey I smiled to myself remember the simplistic, yet powerful, approach to receiving an answer to a question: just ask. 

And so I did.

My power animal told me what the letters represented and how it affects where I will place my main area of focus within a particular pillar.  I love how when you allow ego to step out of it and you and spirit are attuned to one another, the information just easily soars.  That journey, specifically, gave me more insight as to where my purpose in the Temple might be. 

I took a moment before leaving to thank Christopher for inviting me to be part of the leadership with all of the other wonderful witches he had gathered today.  It was comforting and affirming to hear him tell me how in his vision of gathering those he could trust and who he felt could be an asset to the Temple that I was one of those people.  Amazing to reflect back over 8 years ago when we met, he and I having small correspondence via email and getting a chance to meet him at the first (and only) NH PPD he did and walking up to him telling him I wanted him to marry me and Drac... he had just recently become ordained and hadn't really told anyone yet.  I firmly believe my presence at that year's PPD was to meet him.

From there I wanted to study with him but had myself so committed to BFC it just didn't seem appropriate or right timing.  Sounds so familiar now, with Lama Surya, and yet, it took me some time, but years later I am studying with Christopher and actively part of the Temple organization he has co-founded. 

This all comes together nicely as Imbolc is only a few days behind us, but the energy of beginnings is still fostering itself and lingering about.  I had the workshop with Lama Willa that I really enjoyed.  It was a short event but produced this really amazing moment of connecting to an understanding (within that very moment, this is key: present awareness) about the past. 

"The past is the past... let it go"... how many times do we hear this?  More often than not it's said in malice, in anger, in frustration... we, as a culture, hold onto the past, with white-knuckled grips, and we carry it with us, from moment to moment, sometimes adding to the story that has already been played, but hearing to "let it go" from a place of love and of ease and of natural wisdom was refreshing.  I was in a place where I was ready to hear it in its simplistic form, and I was able to internalize it in a way I hadn't allowed myself before.

In listening to the dharma talks from the retreat I wasn't able to attend last month, it's been so eye-openly awakening that it even has me going "holy shit".  Truly, these are not "new" concepts; the lamas would be the first to tell you this, but there is something about hearing it in a way that you hadn't really "heard" or "listened" to is incredibly empowering.

With the pleasant exhaustion that comes from each retreat I do, I am blissfully ready for beautiful sleep.  I want to allow my being to internalize this information of today while I sleep.  I love these kinds of days.